Delhi High Court issues injunction to cable operators on unauthorised telecast of India-South Africa cricket series

MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court has ruled in favour of ESPN Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the India-South Africa Series, in its suit for permanent injunction filed against 66 cable operators across the country against unauthorised broadcast of the India-South Africa Series, restraining all the cable operators from unauthorisedly showing India-South Africa Series through their cable networks.

The channel has the exclusive right to broadcast the feeds of the international cricket matches being played by India against South Africa in South Africa by terrestrial television, cable television and / or satellite television in the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, asserts an official release.

After this order anyone still showing India-South Africa series through any unauthorised means or any other channel will be held in contempt of court and liable for prosecution. The Delhi High Court has also permitted ESPN to take action against all other cable operators not parties to the suit who are found to be unauthorisedly utilising the feed of ESPN and Star Sport without license.

Elaborating on this, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd chief operating officer Vijay Rajput said, “Carriage, reception or distribution of the India-South Africa series by any MSO, cable operator, sub-operator without written authorisation from ESPN Star Sports is a violation of Copyright Act, 1957 and hence an illegal activity."

"Also, no other channel, whether pay, free to air or terrestrial is authorised to provide, show or distribute the India-South Africa series in the territory of India. Also strict and legal action will be taken against the operators who violate the court orders. Post the order; police raids have already been started," he added.

The 66 cable operators restrained from the unauthorised telecast are from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

ESPN Star Sports will be broadcasting the ODI series in both English as well as Hindi feed. ESPN will telecast the series in English with ESPN’s a Few Good Men, Sunil Gavaskar, Harsha Bhogle, Allan Wilkins, Ravi Shastri and Wasim Akram joined in by South African Pat Symcox.

The Hindi programming for the series on Star Sports will be spearheaded by Indian TV artist, Shekhar Suman and supported by Syed Kirmani, Wasim Akram, Arun Lal, Maninder Singh and Zaheer Abbas. The sports broadcaster has introduced special production and programming initiatives Planet Cricket, Cricket Crazy and Full Toss for the Indian audiences for the telecast of the series, adds the release.

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